Material Fetishes


Graduating students of RMIT’s Master of Fashion (Design), Nicole Anderson and Samantha Clark, present “Material Fetishes”, a multimodal fashion exhibition that utilises performance to explore sensory relationships with clothing.

Fashion is a confounding term, depending on how one wants to engage in conversation with fashion is driven by the scale of the encounter. Here we see cultural narratives of the feminine body as it is constructed through art, film, literature and popular culture. At a close range fashion is sensual and erotic, the garment is all but textile, body heat, sweat and perfume. The electric vibration of velvet as the hand passes over it. Or the insubstantial sexually provocative nature that is attributed to latex, suggestive of a guilty secret.

Samantha Clark presents ‘Performing Fetishism’, a project that examines the idea that fetishism has morphed into a form of style that women may slip on and take off as easily as a costume on the basis of “the surface qualities of the spectacle”. Nicole Anderson explores ‘The Sublime Space’, an investigation into how digital and tactile surface design can connect with the unconscious to communicate and provoke complex emotions. Together they offer a series of performances and garments that use print and craft-based techniques to engage with narratives that many may find difficult to convey in words. As objects, these cultural curiosities may hold or hint at aspects of our own fantasies and identities, but the expression of a sensation is something that can be rarely empathised with by another. What can textiles say where words may fail us? We invite our audience to come touch, engage with and experience the work.

This show contains images of nudity.

Image ‘Silk Ocean’ by Nicole Anderson.

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